Friday, July 8, 2016

Masonry Construction: Older Than History Itself

Masonry has been around since the beginning of time, or so it seems. As one of the oldest forms of construction, it has been a part of our living spaces the world over. The process of its history is simple, but its need is complicated and great.

The History

It is said that the Neolithic Revolution is the birth of masonry, approximately 10,000 years ago. Included in this from 9,000 to 7,000 BC is the development of the Fertile Crescent, a process of crafting mortar or plaster with fire was discovered.

When combined with mud, stone, or straw, the mortar was used to build the first man-made, permanent structures in the world.

Masonry would quickly become the choice for building a civilization that started as Egyptian pyramids. Today, there are several of structures left from those times still standing. Eventually, the wood-based construction would eclipse the popularity of stone masonry. But masonry is a craft that is still used commercially and residential today.

A Craft

Masonry construction is considered a noble trade and has been since the medieval ages. A seven-year apprenticeship was established as a stonemason’s guild and became the requirement to enter the profession. There are three classes of Masons according to the guild:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman
  • Master Mason

Today, in other countries, a student must train for four years under a master mason to be considered having enough experience to work solo. The modern advancements in techniques and technology still continue to advance in Masonry.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Brick Is A Brick Is A Brick, Right?

When you drive down the street lined with brick houses, do they all look alike? Well, yes and no probably. They are all brick, but they are different colors. 

What you may not realize, though, is that there is a variety of brick types, and they are used for a variety of purposes. 

Here, we are going to take a brief look at the varieties of bricks. First, there are two different classifications of bricks: Unburnt or Burnt. 

Unburnt bricks are also called sun-dried which means as their names say, they are dried in the sun. The burnt bricks are made in molds and baked. Within each of these two categories, there are four classes: 

First class bricked: Table-moulded, standard shape and burnt in kilns. The edges are sharp, smooth, square, and straight and are used for permanent structures built on a superior level of work.

Second class brick: Ground-moulded and burnt in kilns. The surface is rough, and they are irregular in shape. They may have cracks, sharp edges and are used at places where they will be covered in plaster.

Third class bricks: Ground-moulded and baked kilns, they are a soft brick, irregular shape, rough surface and distorted edges. When banged against each other, they have a dull sound and are used in structures that are temporary in areas of the world where the rain is minimal. 

Fourth class bricks: An over-burnt type of brick that has a dark color and irregular shape and is used for concrete in floors, foundations, roads, etc.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Brick Or Stone: Which Exterior Is Best?

Considered the highest quality choice for home exteriors, brick and stone are also almost maintenance free and will last as long as the house, though some repairs may be needed from time to time.


Timeless and refined, brick or stone exterior is one of the best choices for your home. Either material creates a fire-resistant covering that will increase the value of your home. Research has shown that brick effectively lowers heating and cooling costs by as much as eight percent.

It can withstand high winds and is not typically damaged by hail or other debris that may be blown around in windy conditions. Brick and stone exteriors are also extremely durable and can continue protecting your home well into the next century.


Brick and stone cost more to install than other home exterior materials, and their weight needs to be considered during construction. Once in place, they are very solid and inflexible.

This makes brick and stone a problematic choice in areas that are prone to earthquakes. Over time, brick and stone will also start to weather, changing their colors slightly. This can make it difficult to match the appearance if the home is later expanded or remodeled.